Bio-Identical Hormones VS Synthetic Hormones
Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) has been around for a while. In 1966, Robert A. Wilson, M.D. authored “Feminine Forever” stating that “menopause is completely preventable.” He heavily promoted the use of synthetic estrogen. Derived from the urine of pregnant horses, estrone, equilin, and equilenin to create the most commonly used HRT drug, Premarin. The synthetic estrogen, however, caused women’s uterine lining to thicken increasing the risk of cancer. Pharmaceutical companies patented progestin, the synthetic form of progesterone, through the drug Prempro hoping to mitigate Premarin’s potentially life-threatening side-effects. Prempro also has its downfalls. The Women’s Health Initiative (2002), a comprehensive study of morbidity and mortality in post-menopausal women, determined that the combination of Prempro and Premarin drastically increased breast cancer—almost doubling the death rate in comparison to women taking a placebo. There were positive findings in this study, though. Estrogen/progestin users had a reduced risk of hip fracture and colorectal cancer in comparison with users of a placebo.
Bio-identical hormones are identical in molecular structure to the hormones we make in our bodies. Derived primarily from plants, they are a much safer option. They act like the hormones our bodies make. For example, one advantage of bioidentical estrogen for women is that estrogen levels from this source are more monitorable than estrogen used in HRT like Premarin. Thus, the treatment can be individualized accordingly.
Bio-identical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) is growing in popularity among women and men over the age of 35—specifically, those who feel run-down, prone to weight gain (sometimes for the first time in their lives) and out of other options when it comes to managing these symptoms. Estrogen and testosterone are the two hormones tied explicitly to youth. BHRT aims to balance and improve conditions that are causing people not to feel their best.
A 35-year-old will feel incredible from customized BHRT. For a woman who is 50 years or older, BHRT can be an important treatment in her well-care. Mentioned previously, synthetic estrogen and progestin reduced hip fractures in postmenopausal women significantly. Now with BHRT, women can preemptively stave off the dangers of osteoporosis while taking a hormone that does not increase uterine or breast cancers.